Camp Bestival – Lulworth Castle on the Jurassic Coast 26th-29th July 2018
So as the unexperienced Festival goers – especially with the family, we did not know what to expect ..!? I mean we had been to Homelands, VFest, IOW Festival and Glastonbury, but not with the kids!
We arrived on the Thursday mid-afternoon in 28 degrees heat and were welcomed into a manic carpark with lots of stressed-out parents trying to keep their over-excited children tame while they unloaded their belongings. We are with what seemed like pretty much the whole contents of our houses; some families looked totally prepared with everything is special boxes, labelled and all nicely tidied together on their trolleys and then there was us, everything everywhere, no idea what we were putting where with one trolley and two buggies between us. Sasha had to work that day so it was just me, Kelle and Andy to get everything to the pitch with the four kids…
We followed the crowds and started to lug all our stuff up the huge steep hill in front of us. All I kept thinking was, at least we’ve had a workout today haha, sweat dripping down my face while I pushed our buggy full to the brim, up the hill and try and keep the younger ones from wandering off. Andy and Elle were desperately trying to get the other buggy and heavy trolley up the hill but had to stop quite a few times and move bits around as they kept losing the camping table where it was sliding off. Three parents, a shit load of camping stuff, two toddlers and two 8-year-olds….you can just imagine the mayhem but we eventually made it to the top and to be fair, at least it wasn’t raining!!
We pre-booked the Camping Plus to ensure we could have a larger pitch next to each other and near to the showers, toilets and festival entrance. The pitches were good sizes, we were the last in the lines of pitches, therefore, we didn’t have any tents in front of ours so we had enough space to have our chairs, BBQ and for the kids to plan out there. Plus we were really close to the festival entrance which was a bonus.
After setting up the tents we enjoyed a well-deserved drink, some fun and games with the kids and chilled out for the evening ready for the festival to open the next day. Thinking back now, that was actually one of my favourite bits as we were all really excited and just happy to be outside camping and all having a laugh.
There were different types of toilets in Camping Plus and some ‘Posh Showers’ but, be prepared for long waits for the showers especially between 7-9am as there weren’t quite enough there for the number of families but they were nicer toilets/showers!
After a surprisingly great nights sleep in our tent, we woke up early to get ready, grabbed a coffee from the ‘Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey’ then made some sausage sandwiches and headed down to the festival.
The sun was shining, so it was shaping up to be a great day weather-wise, although we knew that the weather for the next couple of days was going to be awful! We brought our pull along trolley to drag the kids around although it ended up being more of a trolley to carry bags and blankets around.
First things first, we found the Power Tree to charge our phones so that we could take some pics and vids – obvs! While we were there they started doing some face painting which was fab as the girls were really excited about getting it done.
We then ventured into the main festival area and found what I thought was one of the best tents there, during the day there was entertainment on for the kids, and in the evening it turned into a family disco with loads of different music playing, our fav had to be the 80s music and R&B which came on later that evening. We were definitely ‘living our best lives’ in there!
The kids went in to watch the ‘Wall of Death’ but left before the end as it was really loud. Andy was in his element though and loved it.
We then found the main stage and set up there for a while to watch a few of the kids shows which they really enjoyed while we melted in the sunshine haha. They absolutely loved the merry-go-round ride and the LOL Surprise tent. We settled in another tent for a while to stay out of the sun for an hour or so while the kids watched a fun performance. Sasha then turned up to join us which was great.
After a few more hours of rides, sandpits, colouring in t-shirts/keyrings and playing with giant bubbles and some dancing in the ‘Disco’ tent we decided to make our way to the main stage while Andy and Sasha went back to the tent to grab some warmer clothes and chairs.
We really enjoyed the evening, and one of the highlights of the day was meeting Simon ‘Father Of Daughters’ (didn’t get to meet Clemmie unfortunately), who was amazing, such a lovely guy and also Cherry Healey!! I, unfortunately (Kelle) missed meeting Cherry which I was gutted about, but as usual, I was thinking about food and had run to get some hot chocolate coated waffles just as Elle, Sasha and Andy saw her. Bad times haha!
We also spotted our fav local iced coffee van!! Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is amazing, especially the skinny one! Shout out to our local independent business!!
During the night the weather turned and the tent seemed like it was going to blow away so we didn’t get much sleep, thankfully the kids actually slept through most of it which we were thankful for, especially as we knew we had to get up and leave early on Saturday to attend a friends wedding.
We packed away pretty quickly on the Saturday morning and it was such a shame we had to leave but at the same time lots of bad weather was on it’s way so we were pleased we missed that in the end.
It was definitely a whole different experience going to a family festival but a great one and the kids loved every minute! We WILL be more prepared next time !!
TWO MAMAS MAYHEM – Come prepared list!
TIP 1: Bring your own trolley, with bungee straps to tie everything down. You can buy them online from amazon from £39.00 and they are definitely worth it. They do have a hire a trolley service ‘Mr Trolley’ but it was expensive. They also have a Festaxi which is handy if you don’t want to have to lug everything to your tent yourself but again this comes at a price. Camp Bestival is huge and also very hilly so be prepared to sweat it out getting everything to your pitch.
TIP 2: Take as much food/snacks as you can unless you have a huge budget for the weekend. The food is amazing but expensive and if your kids are anything like ours, you’ll be spending a small fortune trying to fill them up. We took a trip to Lidl before we left to stock up on crisps, cooked chicken, fruit, bottled water that I froze before we left to keep everything cool (no glass allowed), fruit bars, breadsticks, popcorn etc. If you are looking for somewhere to eat our fav was in the Feast Collective tent and was a huge box of Thai food with loads of chillies! Amazing!
TIP 3: Try and pack your stuff in order of where you will need the items as it makes it a little easier to find stuff while you are there. For example, pack all your bedding together, festival costumes/glitter/glowsticks etc, kitchen/cooking stuff, wash stuff/wipes/towels, wash bag etc
TIP 4: Buy a programme as soon as you arrive! This was one thing we didn’t do and we were forever asking people when different events/acts were on at the main stage and realised after we missed quite a lot of activates for the kids as we hadn’t a clue where or when things were going on.
TIP 5: Bring a Powerbank for your phones! Yes, we failed on this also and we were forever going to the Power Tree where you could charge your phone for free, but it took ages to charge while you wait. You can buy a power bank or solar charger on Amazon which is definitely worth it.
TIP 6: Be prepared for all weathers – luckily the first two days were lovely and sunny so we made sure we had sun creams, hats and loads of frozen water but we also brought our raincoats and wellies just in case.
TIP 7: Be prepared for long queues especially at the showers, so our advice would be to have a shower either really early in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon between the main stage action as they were much quieter around those times
TIP 8: Let yourself go, relax, let the kids sleep when they want, enjoy the outdoors and get involved with dressing up and going made on glitter and face paints as it’s so much fun and the kids love it when you join in on all the festival fun
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog
We were invited along as guests to Camp Bestival for the purpose of this review, however, all thoughts, opinions and images are our own.